The ultimate house cleaning to-do list for new homeowners and tenants

That first couple of days when you get the keys for your new home are the best - you've not yet unpacked so it's a rare opportunity to thoroughly clean (& even decorate) your home before settling in. Here are some tasks to tackle...

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That first couple of days when you get the keys for your new home are the best – if you make the most of them. You’ve not yet unpacked and your furniture isn’t in its place so it’s a rare opportunity to thoroughly clean (and even decorate) your home before settling in.

You know how it is; once you’ve moved into a space and made it your own it can be months, or even years, before you ever move the furniture or see that piece of skirting-board again. So, if anything needs cleaning or repairing, the perfect time to do it is right before you move in. So, get those keys, move those boxes aside and let’s tackle some tasks…


If the previous owner or tenant had pets, it’s a good idea to deep clean the rooms before you settle in. Now, as a loving pet-owner myself, I’ve got nothing against cats and dogs but you can often tell that a pet has lived in a house simply by the smell. Plus, the carpets may have ingrained pet hairs and, I hate to say it, dormant fleas. Honestly, I once rented a flat where the previous tenant had owned pets. All seemed fine but, later that summer, the carpet came alive with hatching fleas, which my cats were NOT happy about.

So one important thing you can do to clean and freshen a house that has been lived-in by pets is to shampoo the carpets – or maybe even replace them altogether. A recent pet habits survey allowed pet owners to report the messy habits of their animals, which included getting mud everywhere, spilling food, having toilet accidents and shedding fur into the carpets and furnishings. In fact, 87% of pet owners say that their pet has a messy trait so it’s likely that those carpets will need a good cleaning!


If there’s anything that is bothering you about the property, now is the time to make those repairs. Something simple like needing to silicone around the bath, fill holes in the walls or fit a shelf inside the hallway cupboard is so much easier to do before you bring any belongings into the house. That way, you can easily get to the area in question without having to shift a load of stuff out of the way, and any mess you make won’t ruin your furniture or belongings.


Likewise, there’s never going to be a more perfect time to decorate than before you move in. Of course, if you’re renting you may not be able to paint walls so this might not apply to you, but if you’re a homeowner and you don’t like that lime green wall, it’ll always be easier to tackle it before the room is full of furniture and lots of items to move out of the way.


Also, why not clean out those kitchen cupboards before you put anything into them? There’ll never be another time when all the units are empty so give everything a good scrub before you fill the cabinets with your crockery and store-cupboard food. If you were thinking of making any bigger changes, like replacing the worktop or changing the mixer-tap, it’s helpful not to have to box up all your pans and pile them in the living room while you do the work.


Once you’ve done all the cleaning and repairs, you can finally move your belongings into the property. But do you really need them all? Maybe now is the time to have a clear-out and only bring the things you actually need and love into the home. And if you can’t fit all of your existing furniture into the new rooms, you can sell them secondhand – a recent study showed that Ikea, John Lewis, Next and Argos furniture are all popular with buyers who are shopping secondhand on eBay so you’ll be sure to find a new home for any unwanted items.

Let me know what other tasks you would tackle when moving into a new home, whether its owned or rented. I’d love to hear your own cleaning and decorating tips so please leave a comment below. Thanks!


This article is sponsored collaboration. The pink links in the content indicate a sponsored link or information source. The blog post reflects my own experience and the sponsor hasn’t had any control over my content 🙂

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Cassie Fairy
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